NASA is making a new clock that ticks faster than any on Earth to help its astronauts keep time on the moon

NASA is making a new clock that ticks faster than any on Earth to help its astronauts keep time on the moon
Pls share this post


Listen to this article
eugene cernan apollo 17 astronaut nasa 9127440
Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan stands next to a flag and a rover on the moon..

  • Humans have landed on the moon, driven on it, and dropped 500,000 pounds of garbage on it. 
  • But there’s one thing we haven’t done with the moon yet, and that is to establish a standard time.
  • The White House has tasked NASA to create standardized time for the moon by the end of this year.

NASA wants to come up with an out-of-this-world way to keep track of time, putting the moon on its own souped-up clock.

It’s not quite a time zone like those on Earth, but an entire frame of time reference for the moon.

Because there’s less gravity on the moon, time there moves a tad quicker — 58.7 microseconds every day — compared to Earth.

READ ALSO  Your drinking water could contain fewer hazardous 'forever chemicals' under new federal rules

So the White House Tuesday instructed NASA and other U.S. agencies to work with international agencies to come up with a new moon-centric time reference system.

“An atomic clock on the moon will tick at a different rate than a clock on Earth,” said Kevin Coggins, NASA’s top communications and navigation official. “It makes sense that when you go to another body, like the moon or Mars that each one gets its own heartbeat.”

So everything on the moon will operate on the speeded-up moon time, Coggins said.

The last time NASA sent astronauts to the moon they wore watches, but timing wasn’t as precise and critical as it now with GPS, satellites and intricate computer and communications systems, he said.

READ ALSO  A NASA probe flew straight through an explosion from the sun, and found a key clue to how solar storms form

Those microseconds matter when high-tech systems interact, he said.

Last year, the European Space Agency said Earth needs to come up with a unified time for the moon, where a day lasts 29.5 Earth days.

The International Space Station, being in low Earth orbit, will continue to use coordinated universal time or UTC.

But just where the new space-time kicks in is something that NASA has to figure out. Even Earth’s time speeds up and slows down, requiring leap seconds.

Unlike on Earth, the moon will not have daylight saving time, Coggins said.

The White House wants NASA to come up with a preliminary idea by the end of the year and have a final plan by the end of 2026.

READ ALSO  How the White House Easter Egg Roll became one of the oldest American traditions

NASA is aiming to send astronauts around the moon in September 2025 and land people there a year later.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Source



Pls share this post
Previous articleHow and why gender diversity is KEY for business success
Next article
Apple workers urge leadership to ‘end their silence’ on Palestine